STEPANAKERT (Arka)—Ashot Ghulian was reelected as chairman of the National Assembly of the Artsakh Republic during its first session on Thursday. He was backed by 23 lawmakers of the new parliament elected in the May 3 elections. Five lawmakers voted against.
Vahram Balayan from the Artsakh chapter of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation/ Dashnaktsutiun was elected vice-speaker of the parliament. Ghulian has served as speaker of the Artsakh parliament since 2005.
According to Karabakh’s Central Election Commission (CEC), over 70 percent of 100,000 eligible voters cast ballots in the elections. The new parliament consists of five parties.
The largest force in the 33-member legislature is the Free Fatherland Party that won 47 percent of votes counted under the system of proportional representation.
Free Fatherland, the Artsakh Democratic Party, and Dashnaktsutiun, which comprised the only parties represented in the old Karabakh parliament, are now joined by two opposition parties: Movement-88 and National Revival.
President Bako Sahakian participated in the opening session of the 6th convocation of the National Assembly.
In his opening remarks the President congratulated the attendees on the beginning of the 6th National Assembly’s activities, pointing out that elections held through free competition, complying with democratic principles lay an important foundation for the effective work of the newly-formed parliament.
Bako Sahakian conveyed words of gratitude to the 5th National Assembly deputies, adding that the previous had carried out quite comprehensive work in the legislative field, playing a very visible role in the internal and external political life of our republic.
The President also actualized the activity of the National Assembly in the development of inter-parliamentary ties, considering it among the most effective measures of establishing bilateral relationships and international recognition of Artsakh.
“The efficiency of the National Assembly’s activities to a great extent is derivative from a civilized, working atmosphere based on mutual respect, which should be prevalent in the parliament,” Sahakian said in his speech.